Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Pastitsio is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. Also this is one of my most favorite Greek dishes. I always wanted to try to cook this. But each time I decided, my husband, who is native to Greece, stopped me. He thought it was very difficult --almost impossible-- for me, non-Greek, to cook this traditional Greek / Mediterranean food. Um, my challenging sprit became awake.

When we found various goat meats (shoulder, chop and ground etc.) in the local farmers market, we were excited. Then, I suggested making pastitsio. He was too excited to say “No” to me. So he immediately agreed on me making pastitsio. Luckily I also found bucatini, pasta used for pastitsio.

I admit that it was very time consuming and a little bit tricky. But it was defiantly worthwhile. I made it in a big oven pan so that we could enjoy three times or more Unfortunately it lasted less than three times. Indeed, our appetites were more enormous than I thought.

1 lb ground beef, lamb or goat
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 large rip tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of red wine
¼ cup of flat-leave flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of cinnamon
1 lb of bucatini (According to Wikipedia: a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. Please refer to my picture of bucatini)
1 cup and 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Béchamel sauce:
½ cup of butter
½ cup of all-purpose flour
3 cups of milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a fry pan and fry the chopped onion and garlic until they become translucent. Add the ground beef (lamb or goat) and cook till well done.
2. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir them well. Add the white wine and bay leaf. Stir the mixture well.
3. Season the mixture with salt, freshly ground pepper, and cinnamon. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and cover the pan.
4. For béchamel sauce: Heat the butter on another pan. Place the butter and let it melt completely. Add flour and mix with butter well. Add the milk little by little. Stir and simmer on low heat until the mixture is thickened.
5. Turn off the heat and add the eggs, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Mix them well.
6. Boil water in a large pot and cook the bucatini in the pot for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain the bucatini well. Toss them with 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
8. Pour the ½ of extra virgin olive oil. Place half of the bucatini and make a layer on the large oven pan. Sprinkle the ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Pour and spread the tomato mixture. Next, place the rest of the bucatini and make a layer. Again, sprinkle the ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Pour the béchamel sauce and spread evenly over the top. Pour the rest of the extra olive oil. Sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake it in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes until the top is brown.


  1. Oh so appetizing! I'm starting to starve because of your post. I hope you got it perfect, i will try my luck too in that specialty.

  2. Hi Bryan,

    This was really good! Please try this and hope you enjoy it!